High hopes for Iraq ahead of WABA

29.01.2017 00:10 of Simone Sperduto  article read 220 times
High hopes for Iraq ahead of WABA

Iraq are gearing up for a serious run at the West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) title. After a solid showing at last year's FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran, where the country won three times and had narrow defeats in two of their five losses, Iraq have high hopes ahead of the WABA Championship which gets underway on 29 January in Amman, Jordan.

Because Jordan, Iraq and Iran finished in the top five of last year's Asia Challenge which was staged in Tehran, five teams will now qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 at the WABA event, which tips off 29 January in Amman, Jordan.
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High hopes for Iraq ahead of WABA

[5 Dhulfiqar Al-hchaimi (IRQ)]
5 Dhulfiqar Al-hchaimi (IRQ) - Iraq v China, 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge (IRI), Tehran(Islamic Republic of Iran), Quarter-Finals, 16 September 2016

BAGHDAD (WABA Championship 2017) - Iraq are gearing up for a serious run at the West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) title.

After a solid showing at last year's FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran, where the country won three times and had narrow defeats in two of their five losses, Iraq have high hopes ahead of the WABA Championship which gets underway on 29 January in Amman, Jordan.

Because Jordan, Iraq and Iran finished in the top five of last year's Asia Challenge which was staged in Tehran, five teams will now qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 at the WABA event, which tips off 29 January in Amman, Jordan.

Big man Mohammed Al-Khafaji is the leader of Iraq. The Iraqi Basketball Federation has announced the 12-man roster for the WABA Championship and the headline names are Mohammed Al-Khafaji and Kevin Galloway. Both were standout performers last year at the FIBA Asia Challenge.

Galloway had 37 points in one game, a 102-69 rout of Thailand. Three times he had double-doubles in points and rebounds, and twice he came up one board short of a double-double.

While Iraq are not among the traditional heavyweights of Asia, there has been a considerable change in attitude for the national team players with the change in the FIBA calendar and the new qualification system for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Over a four-year cycle from 2017 through 2021, national teams will play regular home and away games to qualify for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2021 FIBA Continental Cups.

"Ever since the new competition system was introduced, the players have become more enthusiastic about joining the national team," said the secretary general of Iraq's baskeball federation, Khalid Mejim Abdullah.

The Iraqi team travelled to Doha, Qatar, on 12 January to conduct a two-week training camp. The team will then departure for Amman.